I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

My personal ‘’I Learn America ‘’ story

By Van-dersa Mihaylovic Joseph  |   From : Haiti  |   School : Royal Palm Beach High School

Hi, my name is Van-dersa Joseph and I am going to share my personal ‘’I Learn America ‘’ story. I departed from my country HAITI on September 19th,2015 along with my Father Archange Joseph and my older brother,Steve Joseph. We arrive to the State of Florida,because my parents decided that we would have better educational opportunities in the United States. Since my mom and my family are not here, I missed them very much. At the same time my first day in school was very excited and scary.

The last person I saw in my country was my mother, I hug her to say goodbye and I smell her perfume spray to remember her smell. I told her, “In 2017, I will come back to see you again and make a better place for you to live”, those were the last words I ever spoke to her. I came to United States because I need to get a better life. The day I came was so glad for me, I was hurting because I didn’t wants to left my mother. My biggest fear was that I could not hug her anymore., Before I left my mom, she told me, “Never give up, one day we will see each other again”. Five second later I started to cry. I arrived to United States at 7:15 pm at night. I was jubilant to see this beautiful country, even on the night that I arrived the first thing I saw was the highway, it was HUGE.

My first day at school I was so excited to see a huge school, but I felt scared. I went to school with my brother, the reasons I was so excited is because in my country, schools are not big like in the United States. On my first day, I meet a friend named Jhon Marc. He is also Haitian, just like me. During after school we sat together to work by classifying things and had fun conversations. He is a good, helpful friend. At school I also had two teachers that were Haitian, I liked that in school is every class we have fun.
My biggest fear was to not be able to talk to other people and getting lost in the school. I have learned since I immigrated to the United States the importance of learning a new language and a new culture. During my first weeks in a new school I felt excited everything was easy, but the only thing that was difficult was that I couldn’t speak English, but understood it sometimes.

School could help students like me when they arrive to this country. To help them understand exams and lessons in class English learners should be given easier tests in class and focus on homework, stuff like that.

I also think schools can learn from new students, a new language and new culture, also about some new food. Schools can benefit to speak and welcome new students in their language. For example ‘’ Bonsoir’’ which means, “Good afternoon”. I would also love some ‘’Pwa nwa avek diri” in the cafeteria, which is black beans and rice. I miss my Mom’s food very much.

Now my life is pretty good, because my Dad take care of me and my brother do everything to make my life better. Even if he does not work yet, but I feel good with him. Steve is the only brother that I have in my life. I’m gonna say thank you to my Mom, that took care of me and my brother when we were in HAITI. She always here with us, we talk to her everyday on the phone. The most thing I LOVE and MISS about her is that if you lie, she already knows. I can’t wait for her to be her.

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